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New NPG Paper Links Overpopulation to Dwindling Resources
Expert geologist Dr. Walter Youngquist calls for a “greatly reduced”population as a critical element of the solution to global resource shortages.
Alexandria, VA (December 20, 2016) – As the controversy surrounding the Dakota Access pipeline continues, debate over America’s fossil fuel dependence and threats to our essential resources have become reignited. In response to the renewed public interest in these critical matters, Negative Population Growth (NPG) will release a new Forum paper today highlighting the links between population growth, reliance on dwindling fossil fuel supplies, and consumption of essential non-renewable natural resources such as clean water. Unfortunately for pro-growth enthusiasts, the paper explains: “It is doubtful the 7.4 billion people here now, and the billions more expected, can be sustainably supported in any decent standard of living beyond the time of the widespread use of fossil fuels – a brief bright blip in human history.”
In Framework of the Future, veteran NPG commentator Dr. Walter Youngquist draws on lengthy professional experience as a petroleum geologist and earth scientist to predict a grim future for the world’s people and its energy resources. He explains: “This is the human dilemma. We have built a world based on fossil fuels, largely oil, and moving on to much less energy-dense and much less versatile alternative sources in the face of an ever-growing population is a challenge before us, the scale of which has never before been encountered in the course of all human history. If there is a solution to this problem it is a greatly reduced and much less affluent population.”
Incorporating his own vast experience, Youngquist expands upon the troublesome conclusions reached by other leading experts and NPG contributors: Ed Rubenstein on immigration driving U.S. population growth, Leon Kolankiewicz on population growth and climate change aggravating water shortages, David Montgomery on the world’s food security crisis, and Chris Clugston on rapidly-diminishing non-renewable resources (NNRs).
Echoing NPG, Youngquist also notes the conspicuous absence of any official U.S. population policy – despite the fact that “all problems of the future would be more easily mitigated if not solved by a smaller population.” He goes on to warn of the likely resulting consequences: “The combination of the passing of the time of widespread use of fossil fuels (especially oil), the depletion of water supplies and resulting reduction in agricultural production, and depletion of nonrenewable Earth resources… will ensure the arrival of turbulent times….” He warns: “The result affecting all humanity cannot now be visualized, but it will surely involve a reduction in world population and a permanent lower standard of living for all….”
As this paper may act as the grand finale of Youngquist’s NPG reports, wildlife biologist and environmental planner Leon Kolankiewicz provides a strong introduction to the work, paying tribute to Youngquist’s influential career in earth science and the oil industry. Kolankiewicz notes: “Dr. Youngquist’s works have enriched readers with a deeper understanding of fossil fuel depletion, and provided us with an ecological window into the ever-shortening Era of Oil-Driven Affluence that some are now enjoying – an era which he warns is coming to a close.”
NPG President Donald Mann also had strong praise for Youngquist’s work, noting: “While most Americans have embraced the idea of ‘green’ and ‘low-consumption’ lifestyles, the vast majority still have not recognized the root cause of the problems we face. At over 325 million people, the U.S. is unsustainably overpopulated – and we are continuing to grow by an average of more than 2 million people per year. Even with today’s greatest technological advances, there are simply more people than there are resources.” He added: “By distributing Youngquist’s masterful final work, NPG hopes this alarming reality will reach more of our nation’s newly-elected and returning officials: we must adopt an official U.S. population policy designed to slow, halt, and eventually reverse our population growth – until we reach a much smaller, truly sustainable population size.”